Cocktail, MixMarch

MixMarch #31: The Last Word

Wow, March has sure flown by. A trip to New Zealand, some of the finest drinks I’ve laid lips on, the delivery of, if not a library of cocktail books, at least a start. Embury, Thomas, Wondrich, Calabrese, DeGroff & Ted Haigh all arrived to learn me some good mixing. Jerry Thomas even friended me on facebook! Not bad for a man who’s been dead 125 years.

I’ve managed well more than a post a day for the month of March, picked up some new readers and even a few who make a comment or two. It’s time for me now to get back out into the bars of Sydney (plus a little jaunt to Melbourne at the end of April)

I was trying to think of an appropriate cocktail with which to conclude MixMarch, and one stood out above all others. The Last Word is another of those fine cocktails to balance perfectly at equal measures, and this Carthustian elixir delivers a chewy, full and ultimately delightful finish.

The Last Word.

20mls each of Green Chartreuse, Gin, Maraschino liqueur & freshly squeezed lime juice. Shake over ice and strain up. The last word requires no garnish, simply a quiet reflection on a day well spent and a drink well deserved.

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Cocktail, Melbourne, MixMarch

MixMarch #30: The 1951 Martini

One of the joys of Cocktail World Cup in Queenstown was listening to Vernon Chalker, Australia’s Most Infulential Person in the Bar Industry, wax lyrical about his first and favourite love, the Martini.

It is the simplest of drinks often butchered. A martini should have two ingredients, three at a push, with a garnish that compliments the drink. Lightning in a bottle, perfection in a glass, simplicity personified. A Dry Martini, well made, does not need anything else.

But,

What if you add something else? A small change, a tweak, a nuance? something that adds layers and mystique?

This Martini won a Martini competition in 1951. It is excellent. There truly are no other words.

The 1951 Martini

Take an extremely cold martini glass and aromatise it with Cointreau. This can be done by pouring a little in the glass, swooshing it round and expelling any excess. You could also use one of those little spray bottles too. The object is to coat the glass with a film of the Orange liqueur.

In an iced tin, stir a healthy splash of vermouth to coat the cubes and dissolve any cheeky shards of ices, discard the liquid, retaining the ice. Pour in between 60 and 90 mls of Gin, I like Tanqueray, but decide for yourself. The amount of gin should reflect your thirst and the size of your vessel. Strain into the aromatised glass and adorn with an anchovy stuffed olive.

The oily film of liqueur, the funky anchovy in the olive, the dryness of the martini. Damn this drink works.

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Cocktail, Event, MixMarch, New Zealand

MixMarch #29: The Flying Dutchman

Updating the Classics is a tricky business. You are taking a recipe that is loved by people around the world. It’s a fucking hard thing to do with any level of success. Imagine my surprise then, when American Bartender of the Year, Jim Meehan, stepped up to update both a classic and one of my favourite drinks, the Aviation Cocktail.

I’ve tried a few updates on the Aviation, and most end up like the Cherry Aviation at Pocket Bar in Burton St, too sweet, too different, just not really at all like the Cocktail they’re supposed to be channeling.

This is so very different to that scenario.

Jim’s drink amplifys everything I love about the Aviation, Strong, Sour and fruity floral. Sitting at home back in Sydney, I’m ready to book a ticket, pack my bags and fly half way around the world just so he can make me another one.

The Flying Dutchman

.75 oz. (22.5mls) Clear Creek Plum Brandy, .75 oz. (22.5mls) Bols Genever, .5 oz. (15mls) Creme Yvette .5 oz. (15mls)Lemon Juice, .5 oz. (15mls) Pineapple Juice, 1 Barspoon (5mls) of Luxardo Maraschino

Shake with ice and fine strain into a chilled coupe

Garnish with one brandied cherry

(Jim Meehan, Winter 2010)

An ancestor of the Aviation Cocktail, first published in Hugo Ensslin’s Recipes for Mixed Drinks in 1916, this blue plum, pineapple, cherry and violet accented sour references Dutch genever, not the cursed ship forever lost at sea.

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Cocktail, MixMarch, New Zealand

MixMarch #28: The World’s Biggest Flip

Flips are notoriously hard to get right. the taste, the consistency and the fact most people seem to have some issue with eating raw eggs (they will not, so long as they are fresh) all work against them. It was with some degree of trepidation, then, that I took part in the World’s largest flip last night at Hawthorn.

The World’s Biggest Flip.

To start, combine 13 eggs with 300mls of cream. whisk to ensure a smooth consistency.

In a 42Below Magnum, combine 250mls PX Sherry, 180mls 42Below Manuka Honey vodka, the egg and cream mixture, 1 bottle (750 mls) 42Below Pure vodka. Shake well. Pour into a rocks glass over a large ice cube. Garnish with fresh spices. Serves 25.

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Cocktail, MixMarch, New Zealand

MixMarch #27: The Tao of Pu

Jim Meehan, owner of PDT in New York, doesn’t like vodka. That makes him at the very least a very strange choice for a judge at a vodka contest.

Or, at least, he didn’t. Jim, recently named American Bartender of the Year, has just put a Carlson vodka Old Fashioned on the list at PDT (recently named Bar of the Year, as well)

Making cocktails in front of a tired but extremely interested crowd of the best young talent from behind bars around the world, Jim said the hatred that bartenders had for vodka as an agent of erosion of the skills, craft and taste of cocktails is quickly becoming a thing of the past. People like having great drinks, they’ll drink Gin, Tequila, Genever and not blindly ask for a replacement with the neutral spirits.

This drink was introduced as the one that had to be made to get Jim down to NZ, but for a Honeylover, it’s something quite special.

The Tao of Pu

30mls Coconut water, 15mls 42Below Manuka Honey vodka, 15mls Galliano Liqueur, 3 dashes Fee Brothers Lemon Bitters.

Shake, strain and serve up.

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Cocktail, MixMarch

MixMarch #26: The Pharmacological Stimulant

Dick Bradsel came up with this drink at a Bar called the Pharmacy in London. There are legends of a supermodel walking in and asking for a drink to “wake her up and fuck her up”. I’m not sure if that actually happened but in the voice of Steve Coogan, playing Mancunian impresario Tony Wilson, “If you have to choose between truth and the legend, choose the legend.”

This little version was served up last night at the Modern Martini challenge at Mojo coffee headquarters in Wellington. The coffee is roasted a whole ten feet from where the drink was made, so I reckon this might just have been the best drink in the world, for a few minutes, at least. When coffee is this good, you don’t to add sugar.

The Pharmacological Stimulant

60mls 42Below Manuka Honey vodka, 30mls of the finest coffee, freshly made. Garnish with three beans, repeat until your eyes stay open like they’re held there like matchsticks.

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Cocktail, Event, MixMarch, New Zealand

MixMarch #25: The B&B

The second drink that Simon Difford made at his Masterclass session was the B&B. A fusion of vodka and tequila, the B&B is named for Professor Jacob Briars and Julio Bermejo, of Tommy’s Restaurant in San Franciso.

The drink features another of Simon’s soon to be released range of cocktail bitters, this time Lavender. It also uses Agave Sec, a Triple Sec sweetend with the syrup of the fruit of tequila itself.

The B&B

30mls 42Below Manuka Honey vodka, 30mls Herradura tequila, 22.5mls Agave Sec, 15mls lime juice, 3 dashes Difford’s Lavender bitters. Shake over ice and strain up.

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